18 Nov Google Is Testing Two New Meta Tags For Content Syndication
It’s about bloody time Google! A lot of people this past year have seen their own content get outranked by other, highly authoritative syndication sites which has been causing a brouhaha. There are also a lot of mashup sites in the mix which are pretty much entirely syndicated content which I feel is fine as long as the source is credited, and now that won’t be a problem. This is going to be a major relief to a lot of content owners out there, lets hope it works out properly so these meta tags stick around. I’m going to be playing with them on our site, as well get some of our clients to look into implementation so I can bring back some stats and more details.
- syndication-source indicates the preferred URL for a syndicated article. If two versions of an article are exactly the same, or only very slightly modified, we’re asking publishers to use syndication-source to point us to the one they would like Google News to use. For example, if Publisher X syndicates stories to Publisher Y, both should put the following metatag on those articles:
<meta name="syndication-source" content="http://www.publisherX.com/wire_story_1.html">
- original-source indicates the URL of the first article to report on a story. We encourage publishers to use this metatag to give credit to the source that broke the story. We recognize that this can sometimes be tough to determine. But the intent of this tag is to reward hard work and journalistic enterprise. For example, to credit the publication that broke a story you could use a metatag like this:
<meta name="original-source" content="http://www.example.com/burglary_at_watergate.html">
I’m really pleased that they’ve introduced these two because even my own content is getting out ranked by aggregator sites. I get a lot of my posts picked up by Top SEO News, which I’m grateful for, but as you can see they’re outranking my own post which pisses me off. Again, this is Google’s problem, not the folks who run the site. The post I’m talking about was my recent Knowem.com review, which you can see below is getting sauced in the SERPs….booooo!
Take note that Google states, “Although these meta tags are already in use by our systems, you may not notice their impact right away”, so I’m not sure how long before I can tell any difference. I guess the only course of action for webmasters at the moment is to just keep watching the SERPs and take note of any new behavior.